Goodbye, Douglas!

Well, it’s all over now.  I’m back home in Virginia, and I’m glad to be here, but it was somewhat bittersweet leaving Georgia.  I had a lot of fun, learned a lot, and I think I accomplished a lot during my internship.  But, I suppose I need to discuss how my final week went!

I gave a presentation titled Web and Tech Tools for Academic Libraries to the staff of South Georgia State College on staff development day.  It went really well!  During the presentation I went over ten resources that I found that I thought would be good for using in academic libraries.  They included image and video editing Web sites, presentation and screencasting software, and tools to help with research and organization.  I wasn’t sure how the presentation would go over, but everyone seemed to like and get a lot out of it.  I included a handout with all of the sources that I went over on it, and Jacqueline asked me to send her my PowerPoint so she could possibly use it for educating students.  So, I’d say it was a success!  The rest of the staff development day was good, too.  I got a brief look into ALMA, which is the system the library is going to be switching over to in about a year or so.  It looks like the same system that USM uses for its libraries, so I was actually somewhat familiar with some aspects of it.  It was nice to get a little bit of training in something new, even if it wasn’t much.


Over at the public library I taught my last class, which as I mentioned before was just a practice session.  I only set up five computers, because the maximum number of people I’d had to that point had been three.  It turns out I only needed to set up one.  The one person who showed up was appreciative, though.  I gave him a sheet with several Web tutorials that I had found and he went through a couple of them.  He spent most of the class practicing his typing.  It was ok, though.  I’m glad I did it, and creating and teaching the classes was good experience.

I also finished my list of resources.  Overall I came up with about 250 resources in over 20 different categories.  I felt like I could have done better, but for a first try at collection development, I’m hoping it was ok.  Mark seemed pleased with my work.  I left on Monday, but before I did I stopped by the library one last time to do a bit of an exit interview with Mark.  It was good to talk to him one more time and go over everything I’d done.  Overall, I was quite pleased with my experience at the two libraries.  I learned a great deal and gained a lot of professional experience.  I imagine this experience will help me a great deal in my career, and I’m grateful to Mark and Jacqueline for mentoring me and teaching me so much.


Week 9: The end is near!

We’re into week 9, which is my last week in Georgia.  It’s hard to believe I’m almost through, but even though it’s almost over it feels like I’ve got a lot of work left to do.  I still have my presentation to give at the staff development day and I have to finish up my resource lists, but I’ve come along way and accomplished a lot.  And I finished my display!  Behold:

File_000 (3)

It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  At least, it’s not bad for someone with very little experience doing these sorts of things.  Jacqueline seemed pleased with it.  But that’s what I spent most of the first part of the week doing at the academic library.

As I mentioned before, I got a tour of the genealogy resources at the public library on Tuesday.  I got there in the morning, about an hour before the library opened.  Lydia, who is in charge of the genealogy department, showed me around.  The library’s genealogy section isn’t huge, but it’s pretty impressive.  There are a lot of resources that have been accumulating over the years.  Most of the people who seek information go for the microfilm, which contains newspaper clippings, wedding announcements, obituaries, and other tidbits dating back to the early 1900s.  The machines for looking at microfilm, as Lydia mentioned, are a little out of date, but they still work.


There are also a whole lot of print resources.  Some of them are just history books about the region, but others are family histories and logs.  Apparently there is one lady who has put together several big books detailing her family history in exhaustive detail and donated them to the library.  There are also books listing participants in the Civil War that have an enormous amount of detail in them.


These books list all of the Confederate soldiers of Georgia, where they were stationed, what their ranks were, where they eventually ended up, and (if applicable) where and when they were killed.  It would be fascinating to look through these, and I imagine many people have spent hours going through these books.  According to Lydia, though, most people either want to go through the microfilm or access the online resources.  The library provides free access to and a few other genealogical resources.  Patrons can use any computer in the library to access these resources, but many times they will use the ones in the genealogical room so that Lydia can help them if they need her to.  Lydia also periodically gets guest speakers from various historical departments in the surrounding area to give talks to patrons.


It was a fascinating look into a small but comprehensive genealogy department.  Lydia should certainly be proud of what she does, and I’m glad I got to see it!

End of week 8

I spent most of my time at the public library in the usual way:  choosing reference and nonfiction resources and preparing for my class.  This class was the last of the “proper” computer classes, with the last week’s class simply being a time for the patrons to practice using the skills they were taught in the other classes.  I also found out that I would be getting some training in genealogy next week.  This was something that Mark had mentioned as a possible area of training earlier, but we weren’t sure if we’d be able to get to it.  As it turns out, I should be able to come in one day next week and receive some training in the library’s genealogy resources and just get an overview of what the library offers in that regard.  Next week’s schedule will be a little weird.  Since the staff development day at the academic library is on Thursday, I’m having to switch Thursday and Tuesday on my schedule.  I’ll be going to the public library on Tuesday and the academic library on Thursday.  So, it looks like I’ll be getting the genealogy training on Tuesday.  I’m looking forward to it!  It’ll be something new, anyway.


So this class was an overview of Microsoft Word.  Since it’s the most popular word processing application, I figured it would be useful to put together a class on how to use it.  I think it went pretty well, even though I only had one person show up.  He definitely learned some things, though!  I wish there was a better way to publicize the classes.  It’s kind of a catch-22:  the best way to advertise the classes is through the internet, but most of the people who would benefit from the classes are not internet savvy.  So, we’re having to rely on signage.  I don’t know if people just don’t know about the classes or if there is not much demand for them.  It’s something to think about and work on if we want attendance in future semesters to be better.

Week 8: Down to the wire!

It’s getting down to the wire now (less than two weeks left!) and it certainly feels like it.  I’ve been really busy so far this week, selecting resources for my display and for the college’s ready reference section.  I think my display is going to have four categories of books, each corresponding to a class the students at Hogwarts had to take.  They will be Herbology (botany), Care of Magical Creatures (zoology and cryptozoology), History of Magic (fantasy), and Defense Against the Dark Arts (horror).  Now the trick is just finding the books to go into these categories and arranging them so they look pretty.

It had been a while since I’d worked at the circulation desk, so I wanted to get a refresher there before I left.  I went over interlibrary loan procedures again with Yolanda, and I think I really got them this time.  The first go round I was a little overwhelmed with everything I was learning, and I don’t know that everything that I was learning really sunk in.  This time, though, I understood things better.

On top of that, Jacqueline also asked me if I wanted to do a presentation for the college’s upcoming staff development day, which will be next Thursday.  I told her I’d do it.  It’s more work, yes, but it’s also an opportunity to hone my presentation skills.  I’ll also get a chance to share some of the things I learned at ALA Annual.  I think I’m going to do a presentation on web tools that can be useful for academic libraries.  I went to a couple of presentations on that subject, and I think I’ve got some good things to share.

It was business as usual over at the public library.  I finished going through my first print book and am now continuing with the ebook and another one of the (huge!!!) print books.  There is no way I’ll get through the whole book, but I’ll do my best!

End of week 7

This week ended with more of the same (selecting resources, preparing for and teaching my class) with one twist:  Mark asked me to write an article about my experiences as a dual intern.  The idea is to send the article to American Libraries to see if they’ll publish it in an upcoming issue.  It sounded like a good idea to me.  This internship is pretty unique, from what I’ve seen.  I certainly haven’t encountered any other dual internships before.  According to Mark the internship was created out of financial necessity, but it’s actually a great way to get interns a lot of experience in a short amount of time.  So, I wrote up an article, sent it to Mark to review (he had a couple of revisions to make, but not many), and then sent it off to American Libraries on Friday.  They let me know they had received it and would get back to me in 4-6 weeks.  Here’s hoping they like it!


The class this week was on social media.  I covered Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and blogs.  I also gave out a worksheet that would help people set up a Facebook account if they didn’t already have one.  Again, I only had two people come to the class, and the guy that asks all the questions wasn’t one of them.  Still, I think it went pretty well.  They at least know about the different types of social media out there now, and they know where to look to find out more.

Lucky week 7!

The weeks are flying by now!  After this week I’ve only got two more to go!  But, there’s a lot of work left to do in those remaining weeks.  This week I learned how to use LibGuides.  I had finished selecting the resources to include in the grad school prep LibGuide, so it was time to get started on actually putting the thing together.  I created an account on LibApps, which didn’t work properly because technology, so I used Becky’s account to work on the LibGuide.  She had laid out a few things for me to get started on, but I put together most of it myself.  It was kind of fun to play around with the software and learn how to include links to pictures, videos, and resources.  It ended up turning out pretty well, although it hasn’t actually been published yet.  I imagine Jacqueline will want to look it over before we publish it.

I also did some brainstorming on my display.  I think I’ve decided on a Harry Potter theme.  There’s a new movie coming out this fall:  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  So, I’ve come up with a display idea:  “Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them.”  Clever, huh?  I’m planning on getting books from four different categories and listing the call numbers where they can be found in the library.  It’s both fun and educational!  At least, that’s the plan.  Hopefully it turns out like I’m imagining.  Here’s a (very) crude drawing I’ve made that sort of outlines what I’m trying to do:


Over at the public library I’m continuing to select books from the bibliography.  There is most certainly a lot of work to do here.  Like I said before, there’s no way I can get through the entire stack of books, but I do need to get as much done as I can.  Mark is still waiting to hear back regarding the grant he applied for, but he seems pretty confident he’ll get the money, in which case they’ll need a solid list of resources to acquire.  Hopefully I can provide some good ones for them!

End of week 6 (already?!)

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been here for a month and a half!  It most certainly doesn’t seem that long, although in some ways it seems like I’ve been here even longer.  I’ve really settled into a routine and I feel more comfortable with everything, even the new things that are thrown my way.  I’m certainly more confident in my ability to deal with different tasks, which I suppose is one of the major advantages to doing an internship.

So most of the time on Thursday I spent looking through my bibliographies for reference sources.  There is certainly a lot to go through!  The first book I started on isn’t that long, maybe a little under 300 pages, so I should be able to get through it.  The book has the recommended resources divided into different categories, so basically what I’m doing is going through those categories and seeing what types of items the library already has.  If it looks like the items in one of those categories need updating, then I’ll pick out some recommended resources and add them to a document that I’ve started on.  I’m including the title, author, year, and ISBN of the items, as well as a link to somewhere to buy the items (usually Amazon) so they can easily be purchased.  I think I’ve worked out a pretty good system, although I still feel like I don’t really know what I’m doing.  I hope the library can use what I come up with!


In terms of attendance, this last class was the most successful yet!  I had three (3!) people show up.  Of course I would have preferred more, but I still consider it a success.  The guy who asked so many questions last week came again this week, which was nice.  Even though the class was a repeat it felt new because the people who showed up were new and I ended up going over some different things.  It went really well, and I’m looking forward to the remaining classes.